How California Traffic Tickets Affect Auto Insurance?

Did you know that getting a traffic ticket in California or moving to a new area can cause your auto insurance rates to rise? Considering the amount of money that we all spend on car insurance every year, it's good to know why we're paying the rate that we are, right? Knowing how your rates are determined can help you save money on your premium.

How are California Auto Insurance Rates Determined?

There are a great deal of factors that go into determining your auto insurance rates in California. Some of them are out of your control, like your age, gender and location. Your driving record, however, is fully in your control. California traffic tickets and “at fault” accidents can cause auto insurance increases. Other factors in your rates include your credit score, driving patterns and type of car. These factors affect your premiums in the following ways:

  1. Age - Your age is an important factor because young drivers have less experience than older drivers. Youthful drivers will typically pay a higher rate since they are seen as more of a risk than drivers who have been driving longer.
  2. Auto insurance increases from a California traffic ticket
  3. Gender - Studies have shown that, on average, men pay more for auto insurance throughout their lifetimes than women. Unfortunately for men, your gender may cause you to spend more on car insurance.
  4. Location - Where you live directly affects your California auto insurance rates. Statistics involving population, traffic, accidents and crime in your area are used to calculate this aspect of your premium.
  5. Driving Record - California traffic tickets and accidents on your driving record can cause auto insurance increases. If you've done it before, odds show that there is a good chance you'll do it again, and your insurance provider will penalize you for it.
  6. Credit Score - Studies have linked bad credit scores and a higher risk for accidents. If you have a bad score you may end up paying a higher premium.
  7. Driving Patterns - Where you drive, when you drive and how often you drive all affect how much you pay. If you only drive for leisure your rates may be lower. If you commute to work or school every day this can cause in auto insurance increase.
  8. Type of Car - The make, model and year of your car all factor into your rates. If you drive a brand new sports car, chances are you'll pay more than someone who drives an older, safer vehicle.

For more information about your personal insurance rates and factors speak with your California auto insurance provider. You can also read the following informative articles:

Forbes: What Really Goes into Determining Your Insurance Rates?

PIA: How Are Insurance Rates Set?

How Much do California Traffic Tickets Affect My Insurance Rates?

We wish we could tell you that traffic tickets hardly affect your rates at all. Unfortunately for us Californians, just one traffic ticket can cause an auto insurance increase. The “Uh-Oh” Calculator on is a helpful tool that tells you how much your California traffic ticket can raise your insurance rates. According to the tool, a reckless driving infraction will raise your rates the most (21.9%). More infraction types and the average percent increase are listed below:

How Tickets Affect Your California Auto Insurance
Infraction TypePercent Increase*
Careless Driving16.08%
Failure to Stop15.38%
Failure to Yield8.8%
Improper Pass13.65%
Improper Turn14.33%
Reckless Driving21.9%
Speeding 1-14 MPH Over Limit10.62%
Speeding 15-29 MPH Over Limit12.22%
Speeding 30+ MPH Over Limit15.9%
*Based on National Average
(The information presented in this chart is based off of data found using
The “Uh-Oh” Calculator on

For more information about how traffic tickets affect your auto insurance you can read the helpful article below: Ticket? Uh-Oh! Auto Insurance Rate Increases for Common Driving Violations

How Can I Prevent Auto Insurance Increases?

The easiest factor to control when it comes to your auto insurance rates is your driving record. The best way to prevent an auto insurance increase is to keep your California driving record clean. You may even qualify for a “Good Driver Discount” if you don't have too many points on your record. Contact your insurance provider to see if you are eligible. What else can you do? Try to drive according to current traffic laws. If you happen to end up with a California traffic ticket don't let the points appear on your record. Take our online traffic school course whenever you receive a citation to keep it from affecting your rates.

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